French new COVID-19 cases accelerate despite new lockdown

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A man, wearing a protective face mask, receives a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Marcq-en-Baroeul as part of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination campaign in France, March 21, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

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PARIS, March 22 (Reuters) - The tally of new COVID-19 cases in France has accelerated further despite the start of a third lockdown over the weekend, and the number of people in intensive care has hit a new four-month high, health ministry data showed.

France reported 15,792 new coronavirus cases on Monday, more than double the 6,471 reported last Monday and the highest number on a Monday since the peak of the second wave in early November.

The tally of COVID-19 infections on Mondays is usually a fraction of those recorded on other days due to a lack of weekend testing and reporting.

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The number of people in intensive care units (ICUs) with COVID-19 rose by 142, the biggest one-day increase this year, to a new 2021 high of 4,548. During the second lockdown, a maximum of 4,919 people were in ICUs in mid-November.

The new cases pushed the cumulative total of recorded infections in France since the start of the pandemic to 4.29 million. They represent a week-on-week increase of more than 5%, the 14th consecutive increase in the week-on-week rate, which stood at less than 4% on March 9.

France also registered 343 new deaths, pushing the official tally of COVID-19 fatalities to 92,621.

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Reporting by GV De Clercq, Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten

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